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Camping options scarce as summer approaches


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    LIBERTY, Missouri (KCTV KSMO) — More than a year into the pandemic, people are not surprised by shortages. But if you thought you could escape to the great outdoors, think again.

The travel restrictions of the past year made camping a good option, but even as travel restrictions have eased, the camping craze is as hot as ever. State parks and campgrounds across the region are booked solid.

Smithville Lake had to shut down last April and May. But things got busy quickly.

“As soon as we opened up Memorial Day, we had an influx of old campers, new campers, and our campground was actually up 5 percent from 2019,” said Matt Denton, Director of Smithville Parks and Recreation.

And he adds they’re already booked up for this Memorial Day.

The Smith Fork campground made enough profit from $35/night camp site rentals they upgraded electricity at 18 sites.

The camping craze has also been good for those who sell RVs and campers, too. Shawn Wiegers is the general manager of Liberty RV. It’s a small lot that made huge profits last year.

“The inflation of customers who came in here to buy RVs from us was just unfathomable,” said Shawn Wiegers, General Manager, Liberty RV. “We went from 10 days of crickets around here to trying to meet customers’ demands.”

With people avoiding air travel and hotels, manufacturers couldn’t keep up with the demand—driving up prices. Industry experts expect that trend to continue.

This summer, if you’re planning on hitting the road, plan ahead, and make reservations as soon as possible. As many people are planning their great escape.

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